See this guy? He's my uncle David. Growing up, he and aunt Barbara were among my favorite people in the whole world. Still are to this day actually. Back in 1990, my family took the leap of moving from NY to FL, whereas aunt Barbara and uncle David took off to Utah. I think it was partially a matter of, well, our parents are gone (uncle David and dad's) so there's nothing holding us here anymore. My dad followed his dream of meeting Mickey Mouse and uncle David moved his business to the gorgeous mountains of Utah.
For me, this was a new phase of my life. One where Sunday dinners with all the family around were a thing of the past. Whereas I was excited to move to Florida and have a new beginning, I also mourned the loss of my close-knit Italian family. Things would never be the same again, I thought. And of course, I was right.
For a long time, aunt Barbara and uncle David made the trip to FL to spend Christmas with us, but now it's becoming more and more rare and literally breaks my heart. I miss them. I miss my cousins, my beloved Chessie, and her brother, David. And now they've both got spouses that I adore too!
This is part of the family that I love and miss every day. And I suppose it's human nature to take for granted that they'll always be there. And then you get a kick in the ass in the form of a phone call, this one from my aunt Barbara.
AB: Hi Justine, it's aunt Barbara (duh)
Me: Hi aunt Barbara! Is this important, or can I call you back? I'm poopin'.
AB: It's important.
Me: What's wrong?
AB: Your uncle is in the hospital. He had a renal carcinoma removed yesterday. But he's fine now!
So yeah, as I sat there upon the potty aunt Barbara explained to me that uncle David had signs of a urinary tract infection just one too many times for comfort and forced him to see a urologist. And when I say forced, I mean forced. The man is horrified, terrified of doctors. Never ever goes. Being that aunt Barbara is an R.N. he just lets her take care of him, diagnose him, etc. Not very smart, but for many years it's worked. Until now.
A CAT scan showed an enormous tumor on his kidney which was deemed cancerous, but, miracle of all miracles, encapsulated. Meaning, it was just one tumor, sitting there all on its lonesome, without spreading anywhere. The fact that this tumor, which my brother suggests we name Mini Me, weighed in at 17 pounds, is nothing less than shocking.
So three days ago, uncle David was admitted to the hospital where his surgeon removed his kidney, renal gland, and Mini Me, leaving uncle David weighing 17 pounds less within hours. He was told that this type of tumor grows approximately 2 cm per year, so this sucker had been inside him, growing steadily, for 10 years at the least.
So far, he's been resting comfortably due to an epidural drip, but I do believe they were removing that today. Let the moaning and groaning commence!
Aunt Barbara had a suitcase packed, so she hasn't really left his side since the surgery. Chessie flew in from her home in OH last week and will remain there in Utah until next Wednesday. She's also an R.N. so is well equipped to help out with uncle David's recovery. Cousin David has been spending as much time with his dad as he can but I think he's a little freaked out by the whole hospital thing. Can't say I blame him.
Anyway, this whole post is basically a way to say, don't take for granted the people you have in your life, whether they live next door, or across the country. Don't let petty arguments and grudges pull you away from what's most important. The love of your family, the memories you've made with them, and the future you want to spend with them. Love them like there's no tomorrow, because really? There may not be.
Pssst! If you love me, you might love my sister more. Go visit her at Jill's Believe it or Not, and tell her I sent you!